We envision a future where people actively work to dismantle injustices and build a more peaceful, equitable world.

May is a Month of Memories!

So many names to say, so much is the same and so much has changed. It is crucial that we say names of people who are gone too soon, not just gone, but murdered in the mess of oppression and hate that we ingest every day.

We also report in this newsletter on memory-making that gives us hope. Read and listen to authors’ and illustrators’ thinking about how books change lives.

Read the whole poem by Renee Watson at the Emmett Till Project.

The power of poetry helps us remember and resist all year long.

Listen & learn from the recording of Rhythm & Resistance: A Conversation about Teaching & Writing Poetry with Renee Watson and Linda Christensen and check out the book at Rethinking Schools.

Remembering horrific history

“A Wish in the Dark” by Christina Soontornvat sends readers on a fantasy adventure that encourages dialogue about inequality, privilege, protest, and justice. This social justice fantasy book compels readers to ponder what’s evil and what’s good to better understand history and the present and to make decisions about how to change the future.


Black Lives Matter. Still. Always.

Black Lives Matter continues to be a needed reminder until Black families no longer need to have “The Talk”.

“TEN” from “The Talk: Conversations about Race, Love & Truth” by Wade Hudson, Cheryl Willis Hudson, and Torrey Maldonado is a great place to start deep conversations about police violence.

Books by themselves are not action AND books can lead to understanding, deep dialogue, AND action! Books can change how we see the world and how we act in it.

Books help start conversations. Conversations can lead to action.

Remember those who took a stand

Say the names of leaders who took a stand. Say the names of those who are gone too soon, lost to the terror of racism, excessive force, and injustice. Say the names of freedom fighters who came before and give us strength and inspiration to speak up and work for justice.

Find resources for action inspiration :“Don’t Say Nothing” at Learning for Justice.

Remember those whose voices are silenced.

LGPTQ+ students and allies all around the country— and the world— take a vow of silence every year in April to protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ+ people in schools and bring attention to ways school & communities can become more inclusive.

Mahogany L. Browne’s “The Poet’s Pen” invites people to think deeply about whose voices are heard, whose voices are silenced, and inspires action of the poetic pen.

Find this poem and more in “Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice” by Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo, Olivia Gatwood & Theodore Taylor III.


Remembering Asian American and Pacific Islander people

Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month is observed in May to celebrate the contributions that generations of AAPIs have made to American history, society, and culture in the United States.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage months is every month.

Until learning U.S. History reflects this,

and until the contributions of AAPI people are regularly acknowledged and celebrated,

and until AAPI children and all people see positive realistic images of themselves,

and until AAPI hate and violence stops,

this month is necessary.

We highlight some books and resources to help propel understanding and action to eradicate oppression, discrimination, and violence against the AAPI community.

We highlight books to increase understanding, dialogue and joy around diverse Asian Pacific Islander identities, culture, contributions and histories.

Normalize the integration of AAPI voices so that their voices and contributions to history and history in the making happens every month.

Find more books and resources at Teaching for Change.


Recognizing, remembering, celebrating, and deepening understanding about the labor movement, workers’ rights, and social & economic justice

If we can just convince other people to get involved, this could make some major changes in our society. It’s very exhilarating.

Dolores Huerta

We intentionally repeat and reflect on this call to action quote included in last month’s newsletter as we celebrate and learn from contributions of the Labor movement.

Find links to these books on our website from Teaching Books and find a stellar list of more books to deepen understanding about workers’ rights and social & economic justice at Social Justice Books.


Remembering George Floyd, remembering a just verdict, and recommitting to real action for anti-racist social justice systems.

Jane Addams books can help deepen understanding of current issues and put them in historical context.

Find “Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You” by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi and resources on our website.

And the younger children’s version, “Stamped (For Kids): Racism, Antiracism, and You” adapted by Sonja Cherry-Paul is now available!

Books can help people ask questions to better understand the world & take action to make it a better, more just place.

Another reason to read “We Are Water Protectors” by Carole Lindstrom and Michaela Goade.


Turtle Mountain!Anishinaabe! Chippewa! Ojibwa! Tlingit! Haida!

Celebrating and honoring members of these tribes and more! This portrait of Zitkála-Šá by Hillary Kempenich (Anishinaabkwe) is featured in “Finish the Fight: The Brave and Revolutionary Women who Fought for the Right to Vote” by Veronica Chambers and the New York Times Staff. This book also features the courageous Marie Louise Bottineau Baldwin (Métis Turtle Mountain band of the Chippewa) Carole Lindstrom (Anishinaabekwe/Métis, Turtle Mountain Ojibwe) is the author of “We are Water Protectors”.

Michaela Goade (Tlingit), illustrator of “We Are Water Protectors” is the first Indigenous person to receive the Caldecott Medal.

Who do young people see in the books they read?

Do they find themselves?

We remember the words of Jane Addams Children’s Book Award recipients and find hope and inspiration.

Listen to all of Carole Lindstom’s words and the words of all of the authors and illustrators in a recorded video of the awards ceremony.

Reflecting on the importance of being seen and celebrated and the power of books

The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award recognizes books that give readers a road map— the agency to take action.

Read more about Aida Salazar, author of “Land of the Cranes” on our website.

Read more about Ekua Holmes, illustrator of “Black is a Rainbow Color” on our website.

Read more about Katie Hickey, Jess Keating, and their book “Ocean Speaks: How Marie Tharp Revealed the Ocean’s Biggest Secret” on our website.


Read more about Christina Soontornvat and “A Wish in the Dark” on our website.

What Jane Addams Peace Books are All About:

Giving readers a road map, the agency to take action,

Taking an example from a character and joining with others,

Seeing that you’re not the only one struggling,

Finding yourself in stories,

Helping young people feel seen and celebrated,

Seeing and centering people different from yourself in multitudes of experiences,

Helping young people to take stories and turn them into some sort of action that resonates with them and recognize that they have a voice and that voice is powerful,

Providing fuel that lets the light of compassion burn bright….

That’s what Jane Addams Peace books are all about!

The words of these authors and illustrators explain exactly what Jane Addams Peace Books are all about! Watch a recorded video of the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award ceremony hosted by Mazza Museum .

Find these books and more on our website.

You can find resources associated with each of our winning and honor books from Teachingbooks.net. For resources for the recent Finalists, Winners, and Honor Books just click through on the book. For all other books go to Browse Books

Who was Jane Addams?

Jane Addams was a founding member of the NAACP and Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom, an activist, a suffragist, a writer, and the second women to win the Nobel Peace Prize; those are some of the many reasons there is a children’s book award in her name!

Follow us on social media for more resources and book suggestions.

We are most active on Instagram and Twitter.

Know of a good book published or to be published in 2021 that helps children engage in deep dialogue that leads to positive change? 

Take a look at the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award criteria and guidelines here and submit your book suggestion here! Thank you!

Jane Addams Peace Association